Celanese (CE) Shares Gap Up Following Strong Earnings

Celanese Co. (NYSE:CE) shares gapped up prior to trading on Friday following a better than expected earnings announcement. The stock had previously closed at $92.33, but opened at $97.17. Celanese shares last traded at $99.62, with a volume of 2736897 shares traded.

The basic materials company reported $2.96 EPS for the quarter, topping the Zacks’ consensus estimate of $2.74 by $0.22. Celanese had a return on equity of 40.38% and a net margin of 18.57%. The firm had revenue of $1.77 billion during the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $1.81 billion. During the same quarter in the previous year, the company posted $1.93 earnings per share. The company’s revenue was up 13.1% compared to the same quarter last year.

The company also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Thursday, November 8th. Investors of record on Monday, October 29th will be issued a dividend of $0.54 per share. This represents a $2.16 dividend on an annualized basis and a dividend yield of 2.17%. The ex-dividend date of this dividend is Friday, October 26th. Celanese’s dividend payout ratio (DPR) is 28.76%.

A number of research analysts have issued reports on CE shares. Vertical Research raised Celanese from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating and set a $125.00 price target for the company in a report on Wednesday. Zacks Investment Research raised Celanese from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating and set a $128.00 price target for the company in a report on Thursday, October 4th. Barclays boosted their price target on Celanese from $140.00 to $145.00 and gave the company an “overweight” rating in a report on Monday, July 30th. ValuEngine downgraded Celanese from a “hold” rating to a “sell” rating in a report on Tuesday, October 2nd. Finally, Citigroup decreased their price target on Celanese from $134.00 to $118.00 and set a “buy” rating for the company in a report on Thursday, October 11th. Three equities research analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, three have given a hold rating and twelve have given a buy rating to the stock. The company presently has an average rating of “Buy” and an average price target of $123.11.

Several hedge funds have recently made changes to their positions in the company. Cornerstone Wealth Management LLC raised its stake in shares of Celanese by 5.7% during the 3rd quarter. Cornerstone Wealth Management LLC now owns 182,817 shares of the basic materials company’s stock worth $1,700,000 after buying an additional 9,831 shares during the period. Seven Eight Capital LP acquired a new position in shares of Celanese during the 3rd quarter worth approximately $3,846,000. Oakbrook Investments LLC raised its stake in shares of Celanese by 127.5% during the 3rd quarter. Oakbrook Investments LLC now owns 7,850 shares of the basic materials company’s stock worth $895,000 after buying an additional 4,400 shares during the period. Aperio Group LLC raised its stake in shares of Celanese by 2.4% during the 3rd quarter. Aperio Group LLC now owns 77,481 shares of the basic materials company’s stock worth $8,833,000 after buying an additional 1,779 shares during the period. Finally, BB&T Corp acquired a new position in shares of Celanese during the 3rd quarter worth approximately $282,000. 94.96% of the stock is owned by institutional investors and hedge funds.

The company has a quick ratio of 1.39, a current ratio of 1.96 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.85. The company has a market capitalization of $13.12 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 13.26, a P/E/G ratio of 0.90 and a beta of 1.30.

About Celanese (NYSE:CE)

Celanese Corporation, a technology and specialty materials company, manufactures and sells value-added chemicals, thermoplastic polymers, and other chemical-based products worldwide. The company operates through Advanced Engineered Materials, Consumer Specialties, Industrial Specialties, and Acetyl Intermediates segments.

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